The Economics of Education in Lebanon: Implications for a Brighter Future for Lebanese Students

Bassam Charif Hamdar, Aline Sawama, Zeinab Hamdar


Choosing to enrol in a university and earn a degree is a decision that all high school graduates have to face. The options and opportunities available in the work field are too diverse and each student has to make a decision, whether to enrol in a university or not. The decision is based on a cost-benefit method, which transforms the pursuance of higher education into an economic matter. Therefore, after finishing high school, a student will utilize a cost-benefit procedure to arrive at the right decision. This leads to the serious question; do the benefits of university education outweigh the costs for Lebanese students? To answer this question a survey comprised of 1000 questionnaires along with ten hypotheses to be tested and analysed was adopted. Responses were divided into two groups. Some believed that, university education is a necessity and considered it as important as school itself for the growth, maturity, and the bright future of each person. Others, however, thought that it is a disadvantage not to enrol in a university and pursue higher education. Based on the results of this paper, a high percentage of Lebanese believe that the university offers an added value, and it is important for employment in the country. However, 53% believe that a non-graduate can perform the same job as a graduate, and finally, 60% believe that skills are more important than a degree when recruiting a new employee. Therefore, it is quite clear that university education is a necessary condition but not a sufficient one to guarantee a successful career. Hence, university education is as important as job experience and skills that add to the person’s assets.

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